Monthly Archives: July 2017

OUR TWENTY-TWO-DAY-OLD PIPING PLOVER IS AS PLUMP AND PERKY AS A PICKLE

Running pell mell, pecking in the tide pools for tasty morsels, and softly peeping, our perky twenty-two-day-old Piping Plover is becoming quite the little plumpling.

We observed an exciting self-defense development today. While foraging in the sand at the high tide line, Little Chick suddenly crouched down, completely flattening himself level with the sand. Seconds later, a seagull swooshed over him, flying, very, very low. It was tremendous to see this defense mode kick in and wonder whether instinctual, or learned from the parents.Piping Plover chick and Mom foraging at the high water line. Our chick is growing so quickly. Even though he is nearly as large as Mom, he still needs snuggles in the morning to thermoregulate.

Piping Plover super volunteer Catherine Ryan keeping an eye on the PiPl from her favorite perch.

The cold weather may be dampening beach goers fun, but we lovers of the Piping Plovers like it because GHB has been much quieter than usual.

 Twenty-two-day-old Piping Plover

SUPER COOL CAPE POND ICE SLIDE AT CAMP SPINDRIFT

Thanks to Scott Memhard for sharing these photos of the ice slide installed by Cape Pond Ice at Camp Spindrift for their annual carnival. Looks like wonderful fun!

PIPING PLOVER BIRD BANDING DISORDERS

Although bird banding is tremendously helpful to researchers, after seeing the following video, I understand why conservationists have decided not to band in our area. I am puzzled as to why the Plover in this video has to have sooooo many bands.

 

Long Beach shifting sands and seawall: Rockport DPW targets nature and infrastructure

The other Singing Beach

As with Manchester Singing and other North Shore beaches, the white or “dry”  sand of Long Beach sings a musical sound as you scuff ahead. Lately though it’s whistling a shorter tune because there’s an astonishing loss of the dry grains.

Over the last 10 years,  so much sand has been washed away from Long Beach most every high tide hits the seawall. Boogie boarders need to truncate their wave rides else risk landing on the rip-rap.  It’s become a competitive sport to lay claim to some beach chair and towel real estate if you want a dry seat. On the plus side, low tide is great for beach soccer and tennis, long walks and runs. Bocce ball has replaced can jam and spikeball as the beach games of summer 2017.

Seasoned locals recall having to ‘trudge  a mile’ across dry sand before hitting wet sand and water. In my research I’ve seen historic visuals that support their claims.

Vista: Entrance from the Gloucester side of Long Beach

Historic photos and contemporary images –from 10 years ago– show a stretch of white sand like this one looking out from the Gloucester side of Long Beach to the Rockport side.

Long Beach

photocard showing the pedestrian walkway prior to the concrete boardwalk. Historic prints from ©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) show the damage after storm, 1931. See his GMG post and rodeo (ca. 1950)

fred bodin long beach after the storm

After the Storm, Long Beach, 1931   Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) “Printed from the original 5×7 inch film negative in my darkroom. Image #88657-134 (Long Beach looking toward Rockport)”

Fredrik D. Bodin Long Beach

Vista: Facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach

This next vintage postcard flips the view: facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach –looking back to glacial rocks we can match out today, a tide line that shows wet and dry sands, and the monumental Edgecliffe Hotel which welcomed thousands of summer visitors thanks to a hopping casino. The white sand evident in front of  the Edgecliffe bath houses (what is now Cape Ann Motor Inn) has plummeted since a 2012 February storm and vanished it seems, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not. It’s most evident where several feet of sand was cleaved off from the approach to the boardwalk.

EdgeCliffe Hotel and surf Long Beach Gloucester Mass postcard

 

Seasons of sand

I find the annual sand migration on Long Beach a fascinating natural mystery. It’s dramatic every year. Here are photos from this last year: fall (late Sept 2016), winter (December-  sand covers rip-rap), spring (April -after winter storms with alarming loss), and summer (today)

FALL

September 2016

 

WINTER

december 2016

 

SPRING April rip-rap uncovered, exposed. Climbing to the boardwalk is an exciting challenge for two boys I know (when the sand is filled in like the December photo it’s a short drop)

April Long Beach

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SUMMER July 14 sand is coming back though all boulders are not entirely submerged

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Storms (namely February) strip the silky soft top sand away and expose the boulders strengthening the seawall. It’s easy to feel alarmed that the beach is disappearing. By summer, the sand fills back, though not always in the same spot or same quantity. Some rip-rap expanses remain exposed. Most is re-buried beneath feet of returning sand. New summer landmarks are revealed. One year it was a ribbon of nuisance pebbles the entire length of beach. The past two years we’ve loved “the August Shelf”. (Will it come again?)

This year there’s a wishbone river.

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“Apparently you do bring sand to the beach, according to the selectmen appointed committee ascribed with repairing the Long Beach seawall, which could cost up to $25 million.” 

In case you missed the Gloucester Daily Times article “Rockport Looks to Fix Long Beach Sea Wall” by Mary Markos, I’ve added the link here. They hope to finish by 2025. I look forward to learning more and reading about it. If extra sand is brought back will high tide continue to hit the seawall? (In the past it could hit the wall or blast over in storms, but dry sand remained lining the wall.) Will the new wall occupy the same general footprint? Will it be higher? Thicker?

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JAZZ TONIGHT – One night only in July! Looking forward to be playing back at The FRANKLIN CAFE…

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Linda Amero, Jack Senier-keys, Mark Carlsen-bass, me-vocals, Maria and staff on fab food! 7-10p Downstairs. 978-283-7888.

“Boisterous gastropub pairs inventive New American eats with craft cocktails in a sharp, dark space.”

Feather & Wedge is Now Open for Lunch and Sunday Brunch!

FEATHER & WEDGE  ·  Summer Hours

Wednesday + Thursday   Lunch 12-3,  Dinner 5-9

Friday + Saturday   Lunch 12-3,  Dinner 5-10

Sunday   Brunch 11-3,  Dinner 5-9

Bar remains open until closing, one hour after dinner service

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Spaces still available to learn from a yoga master with direct lineage this weekend here in Gloucester. Deepen your practice.

Cape Ann Wellness

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For More Information click here

NICKI DOANE

Devotion to yoga and the desire to share with and give back to the world are what motivate the teaching of Maya Yoga with Nicki Doane. Yoga is spirit in action, and as Nicki teaches, she inspires people to find a place of spirit inside themselves, recognizing the profound connection between the self and spirit.
Nicki has been studying yoga in India for years and has been deeply influenced by the teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar. Her unique approach to Vinyasa yoga strengthens all aspects of your being through dynamic structural alignment, conscious breathing, and practical yogic philosophy; helping students find the deeper life of yoga. Nicki strives to teach each student that yoga is about being fully present in the moment and discovering that we are truly all One: One Love, One People, One Heart, One Destination –…

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Another Shark Sighting off of Rockport….because you can never have enough.

We stopped down the docks at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort last night to visit quickly with “Uncle Ricky” on the Wicked Pissah and were happy to get the chance to also say “hello” to Captain Paul Hebert…as well as Beaker on the Miss Fern.  After chatting with Beaker about the upcoming Bluefin Blowout Tournament (he’s always a huge contender…if not the winner), Ricky showed us some photos (the one he texted me is included) of a shark that they caught/released off of Rockport around 2:00 in the afternoon.

The jury is out as to whether it is a Great White or a Porbeagle?  I’m no expert, but I do know all about Cisco and his recent sightings.  I also read, as you may have as well, this awesome blog post about lobsterman, Gil Mitchell, hooking Cisco recently.

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/our-lobsterman-gil-mitchell-hooks-great-white-shark_cisco-off-of-thacher-island/

In addition, there have also been some porbeagle sharks seen in the area.

I do know that porbeagle sharks have a distinctive white triangle at the rear base of their dorsal fins….which this shark seems to have.  The face, however, and the clear line between the bluish grey coloring and the white belly seems more indicative of a white shark.  Also, the tail fin seems to be curved or rounded in the same direction as a great white  as opposed to curved in like a porbeagle’s (see tail fin chart)  Hmmm.

Thoughts?

Porbeagle sharks, for the record, are members of the same family as great whites, but I’ve read that there have only been three recorded attacks on humans…and none were fatal.

READ MORE ABOUT PORBEAGLES HERE

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Northern Gannet rescue on Good Harbor Beach update?

Hi Joey,

Yesterday (Wednesday 7/12), there was a beautiful Northern Gannet sitting right at the water line, kind of halfway between boardwalk #1 and the Witham St end of Good Harbor, where I was sitting.  It was clearly in distress, it lifted its head a few times, and tried to stand up, but it was in obvious need of help.  The lifeguards kept people away from it, so as not to stress it out, and called for help.  Gloucester Police Animal Control came and made a rescue of the bird at about 3:30, carrying it off to their van, telling it they were taking it off to the vet.  (I was so impressed by how humanely they were treating the poor thing, talking to it in calm, reassuring voices, etc.)

I am wondering if anyone has any kind of update about how the bird is doing.

I am wondering if it is suffering from the same mysterious disease that has taken the life of 100+ Northern Gannets on the Cape.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2017/06/10/mysterious-ailment-killing-northern-gannets-cape/WrVq9qjyUhaEIcRTs9orOO/story.html

Have they taken it off to the New England Wildlife Center?

Is this the first of the Northern Gannets suffering from this mysterious illness to turn up in Gloucester?

Any idea?

Thanks,

Ann Rittenburg

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